For fleet managers, the loss of a vehicle is daunting and, with good reason. Not having a car out in the field may overthrow your whole operations schedule; which, needless to say, can affect your relationship with your customers. Naturally, you want to find your towed car, as soon as possible. But, how are you going to do that? Where do you even start?
In this article, you’ll learn what to do if your fleet vehicle gets impounded; and how technology can help to find and retrieve it, in a blink of an eye.
Why was your car towed, in the first place?
Well, your fleet vehicle may have been towed to an impound lot for several reasons, with the most common being:
- Illegally parked (on an ambulance or handicapped bay, a marked ‘tow zone’, blocking a fire hydrant, etc.)
- Obstructed traffic
- Considered unroadworthy (e.g., overloaded, faulty brakes, or other dangerous mechanical problems)
- Unpaid parking tickets
- Fleet driver had a suspended license or was arrested for a DUI incident
- Invalidated car insurance; however, this mostly depends on the police officer’s discretion.
- Blocked a driveway
- Parked on private property
What to do, if your car has been towed
Obviously, the first thing to do is find and retrieve your car; and, there is no faster way to find your towed car than using a vehicle management system, like Veturilo. However, not all fleet managers use such software, so some ‘detective legwork’ is unavoidable.
This involves contacting your local police or sheriff’s department, to report the incident and provide information regarding your vehicle. Once you’ve located the impound lot that your car was towed in, you have to physically go there and present the required documentation; then, of course, pay the costly towing and storage fees. In any case, keep some cash in hand, because not all auto-pounds accept cards.
As to the documentation, it may include the vehicle’s identification number (VIN), proof of ownership or insurance, and your identity card; or any other identification document. At any rate, before you go there, you should inquire as to why your car was towed; and, cross-check it with your driver’s account of the incident.
Another important thing to note is that you’re legally required to go to the auto-pound within seven work days of the tow-away notice. If you don’t reclaim your vehicle within 14 days, the impound can sell in an auction, disassemble it for car parts, or destroy it. As a fleet manager, we know you would not, by any means, allow this to happen; nonetheless, we’re committed to providing the whole picture, to keep you in the know.
Preventing a tow in progress
The good news is that you don’t have to go through this hassle to locate and retrieve your vehicle. Put differently, you may be able to avoid a tow altogether if you are aware of the local tow regulations and procedures.
For instance, if you (or your driver) get to the car before it’s on the tow truck’s lift, you (or they) have the right to request its release; again, if you present them with the required documentation.
However, different states have different laws regarding impoundment. And while, in some, you can retrieve your car without paying a fee, in others, you have to pay half the towing fee. Either way, you save a lot on unexpected costs.
Find your towed car in seconds, with Veturilo
Truth be told, without vehicle tracking software, you couldn’t possibly be warned about one of your cars being towed; not until it was too late. With Veturilo’s GPS fleet tracking capability, you know the exact location of all your fleet cars, at any given time. When the vehicle’s inclination changes with the engine off, you’ll get an instant notification. This allows you to quickly adapt to an unexpected impoundment incident, and find your towed car in seconds; even better, stop it from being towed.
Additionally, Veturilo provides you with real-time alerts, notifying you immediately when something seems out of the ordinary; from malfunctions and breakdowns to situations where — as mentioned — your car is being towed or was involved in an accident.
On top of this, Veturilo gives you instant access to important vehicle metrics; as well as, driving behavior insights, such as speeding or harsh braking, that may be weighing down your operations.
Back on the road
For a fleet company, a reliable vehicle tracking system that provides real-time alerts — and overall visibility into the fleet — is key for streamlining fleet operations. In this respect, fleet tracking can save you time, and help you achieve efficiency.
By understanding local towing laws and regulations, and having a tool like Veturilo at hand, you can find your towed vehicle — and be back on the road — in no time. Be in the know, start utilizing Veturilo!